This Sunday - the Third Sunday of Advent - continues the narrative of John the Baptist, and his role in preparing for and elucidating the role of Jesus as the Messiah. Here is the gospel text from Matthew:
"John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen-- the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”
As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces. Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way before you.’
“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
Go back and tell what you have heard and seen. This is the essense of Christian witnessing: giving testimony. Telling what we have heard and seen God do, in our lives and in the lives of others. Have you seen people miraciously healed, perhaps physically, emotionally, spiritually? Tell others. Have you experienced the grace of God in a tangible way? Tell others. Have you seen relationships restored, demonic activity broken, people who were enslaved to addiction set free? Tell others. Embody a life of testimony.